Lisa DiFranza was raised in New York City, in a family of artists. She watched her dad sketch characters in their neighborhood, and her parents encouraged her to make her own artistic creations. Her love of both visual and performing arts led her toward a successful career as a theater director, educator and non-profit leader and consultant. Home during the pandemic lockdown, and with collaborative arts suspended, Lisa created 365 daily paintings in her kitchen “studio.” Those “dailies” recharted the course of her professional life, and gave way to a robust studio practice and exhibition schedule.
Recently, her paintings have been exhibited at Saks Fifth Avenue, Royal Bank of Canada, MARA Gallery, Art Ovation Hotel, Art Center Sarasota, Ad Hoc Gallery, Cottonmouth Southern Soul, Baobab Gallery and ArtCenter Manatee, and can be found in private collections throughout the United States.
As an educator, DiFranza has taught and mentored students of all ages. While living in Chicago, Lisa taught at Columbia College Chicago, and used her theater skills to launch The Living News Project – a multi-year journalistic theater collaboration about homelessness, working with Cornerstone Community Outreach, supported by the City of Chicago and Illinois Humanities Council. She worked for five years on the production faculty of The Juilliard School Drama Division in New York.
As non-profit leader, Lisa served as the Executive and Artistic Director of The Children's Theater of Maine, Educaiton Director and Literary Manager at Portland Stage Company, Founding Director of The Arts Academy, an innovative public high school arts pilot program for the State of Maine. She was hired to lead transitions for The Center for Cultural Exchange and the Children's Museum and Theater in Portland Maine.